Hendricks is Still the Changeup King, Incredible Plays, and Other Bullets

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Hendricks is Still the Changeup King, Incredible Plays, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The post-Christmas come-down. Harder for kids than adults, I reckon, but that probably depends in part on your work situation and what the rest of the week looks like for you. Around here, it’s basically back to normal, though I wonder whether MLB front offices will treat it that way …

  • Is there a single pitch/match-up combination that can make a batter look more silly than a really good righty changeup to a lefty batter? I love this, and of course, Kyle Hendricks makes multiple appearances:


  • Kyle Hendricks, as you should absolutely expect, had the most valuable changeup in baseball last year, and he had it by a country mile:

  • Since 2014, which was only a half-year for Hendricks as he made his big league debut, only Zack Greinke is in Hendricks’ league, and that duo – plus Chris Sale – are crushing everyone else:

  • Also: hey there, Cole Hamels. Also also: holy crap, Chris Sale.
  • This is how Hendricks does it, by the way:
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

  • That’s one of those plays that requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate how insane it was that he did that. Ramon Laureano, 24, is an outfielder that many of us knew absolutely nothing about until that throw, but he’s actually “a guy” – he came up as a decent prospect in the Astros’ system, and was swapped to the A’s in a rare good-prospect-for-good-prospect trade (Brandon Bailey) last year, as Laureano was going to be Rule 5 eligible. Laureano raked at AAA for half a year, and then got a 48-game taste of the big leagues: .288/.358/.474, 129 wRC+, with quality defense.
  • Given the over-crowded ballot, this is about as good as it gets. I’d probably swap Sammy for Andruw Jones, which, I know, is sacrilegious. Can’t complain about this one, though:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.